ADP -- AN Overview and History:
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Since 1985 the African Development Project has supported specific, effective programs in East Africa that enable participants to grow more food, improve their heath, education, and income, and care for the sick and orphaned. We have direct links with the leaders of these programs, many of whom have visited us over the years. This means that our supporters often feel a personal connection with those they are helping and are confident their donations are well used. Our assistance goes directly to these programs and involves no overhead expenses. We collaborate with Trinity Episcopal Church and many from the broader Charlottesville community.
Since the beginning we have worked with World Neighbors (WN), an international development organization with several projects in East Africa, and the Oyani Christian Rural Services (OCRS) in western Kenya, founded by our good friend the Rev. Peter Indalo, who died in December 2012. Many guests from Kenya have spoken at events such as our fund-raising dinners called “Harambees.” In 2011, Elkanah Odembo, then Kenya’s Ambassador to the U.S. and earlier a WN leader, spoke to us about his hopes for advancements in women’s rights, education, and economic development under the new constitution. In 2012 Janet Mumo, Director of the Kitui Development Center, spoke about women’s economic empowerment groups and their “table banking” system as well as the Rescue Center they are building as a place to rehabilitate children exploited by child labor. In May 2015, the new CEO of World Neighbors joined up to celebrate ADP’s 30th anniversary.
Descriptions of our current projects follow:
Kitui Development Center, led by Janet Mumo. Since 1998 ADP has been helping to support this project in central Kenya, east of Nairobi. KDC organizes women’s self-help groups to generate income and care for orphans. KDC’s recent additional focus is on preventing the worst forms of child labor. Janet requested funds for erecting a Rescue Center, a safe place for exploited children to recover and receive health care, counseling, food, clothing, and life-skills training, before being reintegrated with parents or guardians. ADP’s support helped KDC purchase land and building materials and the Center is now complete. Hundreds of children have been helped already.
World Neighbors MABUTA project in Mayuge, Uganda and other villages. Our friend Chris Macoloo, World Neighbors Vice President for Africa, has requested our help with this “young program” north of Lake Victoria. It is operated by a community-based organization and already benefits around 8000 people in six villages. The overall goal is to enhance capacities of community members in agricultural production and income generation and to improve access to health, education, and water. Key strategies are introducing dairy goat keeping, for both nutrition and income, and promoting high value crops, specifically bananas. Women and orphans are the primary beneficiaries of this project. Bev Wann visited this project with Chris in early 2014 and reported at the 2014 Harambee.
Privilege School, the primary school the late Peter Indalo asked us to support, near Migori, Kenya.
We get frequent reports from the school's principal, Lydia Vusaka Esige. Since 2014 we have been supporting some 60 orphans with school fees, uniforms, and daily lunches. Our Kenyan friend Naomi Imali, who lives in Charlottesville now, visited the school in early 2014 and reported to us on the great needs there, including a roof on the building and a source of clean water. We have since provided funds for two water catchment tanks and continue supporting the orphans, teachers, and school improvements.
Your generous contributions make the difference for these inspiring leaders and their projects.
Checks made payable to St. Paul's Memorial Church, with African Development Project in the memo line, may be mailed to: 1700 University Ave., Charlottesville, VA 22903. All donations are tax-deductible and go directly to help the projects described here. There are no overhead expenses.
Bev Wann and Kate Schecter
On May 5, 2015, ADP celebrated our 30 years of support of effective development projects in East Africa. After a festive dinner in St. Paul’s Parish Hall, founding member Bev Wann presented a look back over the years, with images of the resourceful villagers in the programs and the leaders we have come to know. Then the CEO of World Neighbors, Kate Schecter, thanked us for our faithful support and presented a gift of a framed photo of Kenyan children. In her talk she discussed how World Neighbors helps communities organize to solve their own problems in sustainable ways and showed a video of Chris Macoloo, the WN African Director, thanking us and describing his work.
A crowd was dancing in the nave to the syncopated sway of African celebration on Saturday, February 22, 2014, at Trinity Episcopal Church. The HARAMBEE – or “pulling together” – was a celebration of music, dinner, crafts for sale, and presentations for members of St. Paul’s Memorial Church, Trinity Episcopal, and the many local friends and neighbors who make up the African Development Project (ADP). Those attending sang joyful hymns, led by friends from Africa, Anna Githinji and Sarah Simba. Our speakers, Bev Wann and Naomi Oyanji, had made recent trips to Africa and reported on their experiences.
Bev Wann first gave a brief overview of the African Development Project, explaining that we have long partnered with three projects in Kenya: 1. The Kitui Development Center, led by Janet Mumo; 2. Various specific projects of World Neighbors, an international development organization; and 3. Oyani Christian Rural Services, led by the Rev. Peter Indalo. She explained that since Peter’s death in Dec. 2012 ADP has been trying to determine whether the programs Peter put in place will continue. Peter had asked our support for many orphans in his area, many of whom were AIDs orphans. Since his death we have been in touch with the Director of Privilege Academy, a primary school many of these orphans attended. (Following Bev’s presentation, Naomi reported on this school.)
Leaders of a local effort to purchase a bicycle.
Bev Wann visited eastern Uganda projects with Chris Macolo, World Neighbors Africa director. Chris had asked our support for a “young” World Neighbors project in a very poor region north of Lake Victoria. World Neighbors’ approach is to facilitate community organization and development in a region for ten or so years and then move on after the group becomes sustainable. Bev attended a meeting in the rural village of Mayuge, Uganda, of a new project, called MABUTA, bringing together local organizations in three parishes (six villages) working to improve health and agriculture. The WN visitors heard a passionate plea for a bicycle so that travel to the regional AIDS center could be made more efficiently. Chris explained that World Neighbors would not provide the bicycle, but would provide the know-how to organize a savings and credit group that would place the purchase fully in local hands. The potential is here for funding an entire fleet of bicycles, all based on mutual responsibility and entirely sustainable local effort. Bev described this approach as the genius of the World Neighbors way of development. In general, World Neighbors does not provide the equipment or assets needed in a village. Instead they teach the skills for effective community action. World Neighbors may provide a goat or pig to a local family, but the first offspring must be given away. This leads to support of the community and development based on mutuality.
The next speaker was Naomi Oyanji, a young woman from Kenya now working and studying in Charlottesville. On a trip home in December and January, Naomi, on ADP’s behalf, visited the Privilege Academy in Migori, where Peter Indalo lived, and interviewed the Director, Lydiah Vusaka. Naomi showed photos of the school’s collection of basic brick, mud, and corrugated iron buildings and open air classrooms thathouse kindergarten through eighth grade. The compound has no ready source for water. Three small rocks provide a make-do kitchen area outside where meals are prepared. The library is a small cabinet with torn and damaged books. The students need shoes and the classrooms need proper blackboards and all manner of equipment. And the rooms need doors. Students collect the few pieces of rough classroom benches at the end of each day for storage in the only room with a door, a precaution against theft.
Students and teacher at the Privilege Academy in Migori.
To support the African Development Project's work in Kenya, send a check made payable to St. Paul's Memorial Church, with African Development Project in the memo line, to: 1700 University Ave., Charlottesville, VA 22903. All donations are tax-deductible and go directly to help the projects described here. There are no overhead expenses.
Bread for the World (BFW) is a 39-year old, nationwide Christian movement whose mission is justice for the world’s hungry people through education and advocacy. Churches in a covenant relationship with BFW pledge to support anti-hunger education and missions, and to sponsor actions such as an annual Offering of Letters to government leaders, urging support of carefully researched legislation with the potential to make a significant difference. Volunteers may help by engaging in the church’s anti-hunger/poverty work, and in organizing and conducting Offerings of Letters.
The CROP Walk, sponsored nationwide by Church World Service, is an annual ecumenical anti-hunger walk through Charlottesville. Its purpose is to educate the community about the needs of hungry people everywhere and to raise funds to help them survive and become self-reliant. The organization also provides assistance in healing and restoring lives hurt by natural disasters and war. Twenty-five percent of the money raised by local walkers is distributed to the Community Meals on Wheels and the Emergency Food Bank. Volunteers may contribute as walkers or recruiters, or by pledging financial contributions.
For the latest information (current issue work, member congregations, event calendar), please visit the IMPACT web site.
IMPACT (Interfaith Movement Promoting Action by Congregations Together)is a grassroots initiative bringing a diverse group of congregations together to live out our religious traditions’ call for justice.
The IMPACT congregations have come together to work on the root causes of community problems. IMPACT congregations range in size from 20 to1,500 people and include predominantly black and predominantly white congregations as well as Protestant, Catholic, Unitarian, Jewish, and Islamic congregations.
IMPACT will address and achieve solutions to community problems through the basic organizing processes of listening/networking, research, and direct action meetings. Through coming together we build our power and ability to successfully live out God’s call.
Contact: Lila Lassetter Robb (434)962-6603
PACEM is a community-based effort of over 50 local congregations, which provides shelter and food for the area's homeless population during the winter months. St. Paul’s hosts PACEM women for twoweeks during the winter months. During those weeks volunteers are needed for setting up and taking down supplies, food preparation, hosting in the evening, and spending the night through the early breakfast hour.
From September through May teams of volunteers from St. Paul's provide an evening meal on Thursdays for residents of the Salvation Army, as well as for anyone outside the facility in need of a meal. Preparations begin at 4:00 p.m. and dinner is served from 5:45 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Team members may arrive at designated times during this period as schedules permit, and new volunteers are welcome at any time.
The Schoolhouse Thrift Shop, at 1147 East Rio Road (just east of Church of Our Savior), sells clothing, toys and small household items at low cost, and also gives clothing to families in need. Opened in 1992, the Thrift Shop’s main purpose is to raise funds for various outreach programs of Region XV of the Diocese of Virginia. The shop is open Tuesday - Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and volunteers take shifts once a week, or once or twice a month.
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